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RIM's forthcoming PlayBook tablet.  (Source: Rimarkable.com)
130,000+ Android apps can't be wrong

For Research In Motion, a lot is hinging on the success of its forthcoming PlayBook tablet. And while Android is garnering attention of its own for the anticipated Motorola Xoom tablet, RIM might be developing a plan to steal some of its thunder. 

Bloomberg reports that the PlayBook software will have the functionality to run Android applications. RIM is said to be developing the functionality in-house, though the Canadian company declined to comment.

Some analysts believe that allowing access to Android's 130,000+ applications, coupled with the increased security features of a BlackBerry, just might be enough to appeal to customers who might have opted for another choice -- perhaps the forthcoming iPad 2 or the aforementioned Xoom. 

"It will be a shrewd move to let Android apps run RIM without any performance or user interface hiccups,"Chetan Sharma, an independent analyst told Bloomberg. "It will make the RIM platform attractive to consumers as it lacks the strength of the rivals from an apps perspective."

PlayBook is based on QNX software, which shares the Posix standard with Android. But RIM will not be employing Google's Dalvik because of an ongoing dispute between Oracle and Google over the Java software used in running apps.

The deal could certainly be a boon for RIM. In Q4 of 2010, Android tablets captured 22 percent market share, and there are about six times more apps available for Android than there are in RIM's App World.  




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